Saturday, August 17, 2013
Thursday, August 8, 2013
I was holding out for some pictures from these races before I bothered with a blog, but one event took a while,and they're not free anymore, and the other event's photographer was supposedly MIA. So no pics. Sorry. I'll keep it short. Kinda. Boring without all the pics. A few weeks ago, Dave and I drove to Tahoe City for the start of the Run To Squaw, a 7.9 mile run on the rolling (but flat for Tahoe) bike path that runs most of the way from the lake to Olympic Village in Squaw. Unknown to us, there were a few course changes since the last time we ran it, but still the beautiful start at Commons Beach, the run along the river, then a slight uphill into Squaw & the heart of the village. Last time I ran this I was in better shape. I'd led from the gun, but blew up badly 3/4 of the way through and ended up 2nd. This time it was my goal to be within 3 minutes of my previous time (course changes not withstanding). I think I was just over, but it was a good race, tactically. I started out letting a couple other set the pace, but took the lead fairly early on. There was one kid who stuck with me after the initial wave went away, and we'd trade the lead a couple times. Within a couple miles, though, I was struggling to keep up, and he seemed incredibly relaxed...playing with the pace (and seemingly with me) as he'd open up gaps on me repeatedly. But - he'd always come back. I couldn't figure it out. Was he scared to lead alone. One thing was for sure. If it came down to a sprint, it was obvious he had another gear that I didn't, but honestly - in my head, I was starting to think about 2nd place and just racing the clock. To do so, though...it would be to my benefit to keep him in sight. So I did. And he kept coming back. One of the changes in the course added a mean short-but-steep dirt hill to jump from the path to the road (to avoid having to cross the FWY). This took out my favorite part of the course, but also was were I unknowingly made my move. It was still fairly early in the race...maaaaybe 2/3 of the way in, but when I went up and over that hill, the challenger (who'd been setting the pace) dropped back for the first time. I still thought the was messing with me. But, eventually, I made the turn to Squaw, still in the lead. And went up and over the main little hill (that broke me last time). The finish had a couple different turns, and a slightly different location (which was unnerving when you're holding on for dear life) but I ended up keeping the lead and winning my first race in nearly a year(!) in just over 6 minute pace. The kid must have been struggling late, because he didn't come in for a couple minutes more. Dave & I went straight to Donner for Rocco's 3rd BDay party (which Abby had put together) for a stress free (bwahahahahaha) afternoon. The Redline Running Co's Longmont 13.1 (really 13.3 :)) was to be the main attraction for the first leg of Abby & I's 10th Anniversary trip. We left the evening of the 4th, and it was early in the morning on the 6th. Here's the problem, though, in 2 parts. 1-I haven't raced anything longer than 12k or so in more than 2 years. 2-there's a LOT of good beer in the Denver area, and to fully appreciate that, we'd do a decent amount of drinking in the days leading up to the race (and of course immediately after). I found out I was in pretty good shape. For an 11 miler. So the race starts right next to some posh houses on a little lake somewhere in NE Longmont. We circled the lake, running either on packed dirt or concrete. That was my only complaint about the race. Concrete is hard, and there was a ton of it. There was also a headwind. As this was a point to point course, I was worried it would stick around for most of the race, but the skies cleared and the winds calmed, and my splits dropped from 6:17 the first two miles to within a second or two from 6:05 per through mile 11. There was one guy that took off in the lead, and I made it my goal to just keep him in sight for as long as possible. He built a pretty good lead, and I seemed to have a pretty good lead on the chase pack behind me. I didn't want to be running solo, but I didn't want to slow down either. Eventually, to my surprise, the gap started to close. By the halfway mark, I was closing fast, and I caught and passed for the lead somewhere after mile 7. Immediately, though, I was running solo again. He didn't stick around, and the bike(s) were juuuust far enough ahead of me to not count as company. Anyway, I ran comfortable and built a big lead through mile 10 before (6:09 pace) before starting to tire. I figured I better drink a sip or two at mile 11, but it was already too late, and I almost barfed it right back up. The last couple miles (where I was supposed to kick when I saw Abby, Ben, and Jamie on their out-and-back 5 miler) were a bit of a death march...but I didn't get caught. I ended up winning my first ever race in Colorado in 1:23.
Thursday, June 27, 2013
Thursday, June 13, 2013
So, a short summary of the 2 races I've run since being told I could never run again. After a loooong break (my last W was last July, and the only race I've finished since was right before having the 2nd hip surgemacated on in January) I'm trying to get back into things. Now mid-June, I'm in my eleventh week since starting over. I'd been able to have a cardio base before starting to run again, but actually running was like starting over. On Mother's Day, I opted for the longer distance at Mom's on the Run (here in Reno) & did the 10k. When I signed up, I chose the 10 because I thought I might be able to get under 40:00 by then. As it approached, my weekly improvement had me dreaming about getting under 38:00, but that was not to be. I started out well back in the field and moved up throughout the first half, climbing up to 6, fighting through the throng of 5kers and walkers the last 2 miles, then moving up 2 spots in the last quarter of the race. The mile markers said I ran positive splits, but from other runner's feedback, the 3 mile marker was at 2.9, so it's probably pretty even. I did gain a couple spots after all. On a day with perfect running conditions, I ended up 4th overall in my 2nd race in 10 months, and first after 2 surgeries and 2 rehabs. I really didn't expect anything more, though I could have done without the tightness in the right hip and the blisters from earlier in the week. Race #2 was on Memorial Day. I've done the No Excuses 5k three times, with a best finish of 2nd in 2011, and a best time of 15:51 (3rd) in 2010. After missing it last year, I really didn't want to skip it again, slow or not. I had been improving weekly and expected to be significantly faster than the Mom's 10k. 5:40's on a perfect day. I know from experience the first mile is fast, but I was still excited to hit it in 5:33, my fastest mile of 2013. I did pay for it, though, and ran weeeeeeell into the 5:40's for the next 2 (though I gained spots until losing 2 in the last 2 minutes). I held steady most of the way, though I was passed down the homestretch. I ended up 20th overall with a 17:42 (5:42 per mile) though I was dying at the end. I've hit a little bit of a wall since then. My training has been solid, but not improving like it was, as the hip has been on red alert. Next up is another 5k, but this one is costumed. We'll see how that
Wednesday, April 24, 2013
Well, just cause I'm way slower doesn't mean I'm going to sit on my ass all summer, right? While I don't expect to be even relatively close to my former self before, say, Thanksgiving, I'm signed up for 2 May runs to get the competitive juices flowing. In 2 1/2 weeks, I'm going to attempt a 10k at Moms On the Run here in Reno. It's "Reno flat". I'm hoping my 5k pace now will be my 10k pace in a couple weeks - since it's only week 4 of the UNLEASH THE GIMP comeback, another two weeks will do me some good. Two weeks later is the Buzz Oates No Excuses 5k in Sacramento. While I have a 15:50 best on that course, my goal will be to beat the 18:24 I ran in SF 4 months after surgery #1 (this one is 4 months after surgery #2). On a perfect day, sub-18, but that's a HUGE stretch right now. Not under 20 yet. I may focus on base and core strength in June, though there is a Reno 5000 race the same day as Burton-wherethehellisthetrail-Creek. Otherwise, the schedule is open til the Reno Ten Miler on 8/18. I'm sure I'll keep busy til then. Every day is a high wire act of trying to get better while not doing too much, or too little. Hoping to stay on the wire!
Saturday, March 2, 2013
Well, most of you know 2012 was a bit rough from a running/general well being standpoint. I was just getting back into shape from a 2012 partial Achilles tear when years of biuld-up in my hip(s) finally came to a head at the end of February. I have no mileage logs, and raced far less than usual, spending most of the time injured or getting back in shape. Here's a quick run-down of my nine 2012 races. January - Whole Foods 10k (1st) High 35. Still getting back into things. Ran an ok time on a moderately hilly course, but hit my goal for the shape I was in. February - Davis Stampede (2nd) 16:23. Beat my goal, and saw progress from the previous month. Sub 16 at Bidwell becomes a realistic goal. February - Getty Owl (2nd) 16:32. Was in better shape than Davis, but had a little bit of an off day in the wind. Cool new race in Sac, though. February - YGBC 10k (4th) I've mentally blocked out whatever my time was, and just a couple weeks ago I didn't even recall ever running the 10k course. That's how bad it was. Blech. March - Bidwell Classic 5k (5th) 16:20. 2013 proved that it's deeper every year I show up, and 5 is my number (I'd have been easily 2nd with the same time this year). I was primed for this...16 flat on a good day, 16:10 should happen, then pulled a hip flexor 3 days before the race. If only it was JUST a hip flexor pull... May - Rock N River 10k (1st) 37:24. Had no business winning a race with that kind of time, but nobody showed up. I was using it as a fitness gauge after taking March off, and knowing by April I had an arthritic and (literally) broken hip. Hit my goal, though running 4:23 slower than your last run on a course hurts the pride a bit. Surgery loosely planned at the end of autumn. June - Run to the Beach 5k (2nd) The delay didn't help. After a calf pull cost me a couple more weeks, I wasn't in great shape for this, and it showed. Young Jeff pulled away immediately and I barely held on for a slow, distant 2nd. July - Truckee Running Festival (1st) A little better. I was able to actually have more than 1 gear, even if they were both a little slower than I'd like. Starting to get fitter. July - San Francisco Marathon 5k (1st) 16:39. Not back to early spring form, but improving, and not only was my goal time hit, I came from pretty far back to win by 1 second. Unfortunately, my Achilles hurt immediately after, and after one more aborted attempt at running, I'd move the (L) hip surgery up to Septemeber, and was done for the year. January 2013 - Ballaprk 5k (10th) 18:24. On a mediocre amount of cross-training and a little running, I ran even splits and ran faster than the 19 & change I thought I'd pull off a week and a half before the second (R) hip surgery was scheduled. I am now hoping to be running 3 days a week by mid-April, to beat my Ballpark time on Memorial day, to be back in the upper 16's by the end of the year, and to be under 16, or pretty damn close to it in the spring of 2014.